Covid-19 latest: Five more deaths; 69 new cases confirmed

Covid-19 latest: Five more deaths; 69 new cases confirmed
Acting Chief Medical Officer from the Department of Health Dr Ronan Glynn briefed the media this evening about the latest Covid-19 figures. Picture: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

The Department of Health has been notified of five additional deaths and 69 new Covid-19 cases.

There have now been a total of 1,768 Covid-19 related deaths and a total of 26,372 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

Of the new cases notified today, 37 are men and 31 are women and 65% are under 45 years of age.

A total of 39 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case and two cases have been identified as community transmission.

There are 22 cases located in Offaly, 19 in Kildare, eight in Laois, six in Dublin, and 14 are spread across eight other counties including Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Louth, Meath and Wexford.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said that 226 cases have arisen in Kildare, Offaly and Laois over the last fourteen days, which represents almost half of all cases in Ireland over that time period.

“While the majority of these cases can be accounted for by outbreaks, this volume of cases is significant and our main priority now is to ensure that these outbreaks do not lead to widespread community transmission in the region.

“NPHET continues to monitor the situation closely. I urge people in these counties to remain vigilant to stop the further spread of Covid-19 in these areas,” he said.

The reproduction number for the virus is now estimated to be 1.8 and Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, Professor Philip Nolan said that a reproduction number of almost 2 is “a serious concern”.

Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, Dr Colm Henry, said: “Public Health teams have been informed of the locations of these outbreaks as is routine and contact tracing and testing is taking place as appropriate. Our focus now is on controlling these outbreaks and taking action as necessary.

“We also need people to continue to follow our public health advice and avoid crowds, especially indoors, and limit the number of people you meet. The Department of Health and HSE launched the next phase of our communications campaign today encouraging people to keep up the protective behaviours of physical distancing, washing our hands regularly, wearing a face covering where appropriate and downloading the Covid-19 Tracker app,” he said.

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